VMM 100 MILES

IMPORTANT: Read the RACE RULES HERE.

Distance: 161.9km | Elevation gain 8,848m

Start time: 4:00, Friday, 20-09-2024 

Start location: Sapa Park (next to Sapa Square – Google maps)

Finish location: Topas Ecolodge – Google maps 

CUT-OFF:

20/09/2024

  • 15:30 at CP Topas Ecolodge (36.6km)
  • 19:00  at CP Topas Ecolodge (51.6km)
  • 22:00 at CP M4 (65km)

21/09/2024

  • 00:00 at CP M5 (73.5km)
  • 2:00 at CP M6 (79.8km)
  • 4:30 at CP Topas Ecolodge (91.1km)
  • 12:00 at CP3 (122.5km)
  • 15:00 at CP4 (131.3km)
  • 17:00 at CP5 (138.9km)
  • 20:30 at CP6 (148km)
  • 22:00 at CP7 (154km)
  • 23:59:59 at FINISH

Mandatory Briefing: 17:00 19/09/2024 

Age restriction: Entrants to 100 miles must be at least 18 years old on race day.

Qualification: To run VMM 100 miles, you must have previously completed at least one 70km+ ultra trail with 3,000m+ (not a road event) before signing up. The race must be an official race, not a virtual race / club run. 

On registration, please provide a URL link to your qualifying result (official race results page/Topas race e-certificate link, UTMB Index, ITRA Index, or similar). 

Failure to provide evidence of a qualifying past performance will result in refusal of entry. Refund terms follow standard race terms.

Course description

Welcome to the hardest run in Vietnam! This is a seriously tough, but also extremely beautiful 100 miles ultra marathon that covers every type of terrain the Sapa area has to offer.  

You need to be an experienced, capable mountain runner to complete this course within the Cut Off Times. Please do refer to the Cut Off Times (COTs) and the elevation gain charts before you sign up.

The race begins in the heart of Sapa town. The first part of the course is unique to 100 miles runners. You will run high up onto a ridge line which we call Sapa’s Dinosaur Back.

This section is very special, with high mountain panoramic views. The ridge line is 100% trail.  

After running across the ridge line, you will come down from Mount Silverstone to Checkpoint Topas Ecolodge. 

Next you complete two short loops around nearby valleys, returning each time to the Checkpoint Topas Ecolodge. This is followed by a longer loop of around 30km into more remote territory with some challenging climbing and some technical trail.  

You then come and enjoy the great food and trail comradery at Checkpoint Topas Ecolodge a final time. Here we set up a buffet style hot meal selection made by the lodge chefs. This Topas Ecolodge Checkpoint is a popular aspect of this 100 miles course. Because of the 3 different approaches to it, most of you will get the chance to talk with your fellow 100 miler runners here more than once. Slower runners might have the chance to see the leaders and middle, and back of the backers will definitely have chances to encourage each other here. Your designated supporter can also access this CP and keep you well supported.  

From here, you will run onto the final 70km of the course. After a short flat run to Van Den Su village, you will descend steeply down into the valley where you will find a Water Station. 

Across the river you will face a very steep climb then a traverse to the Red Dao ethnic village of Giang Ta Chai. A stunning rice terrace section will then bring you to CP1 in Lao Chai village. 

 

VMM ethnic minority - 2

Next, you will hit another significant climb, before you start the long net gain section along the Muong Hoa valley past rivers, farms and many villages of different ethnic groups. 

After CP3 at O Quy Ho you head onto what is many runners’ favourite part of our course – Cow Mountain (Doi Bo). After an initial climb through farm land you will emerge onto the ridge line, with single track trail taking you to the peak. 

On a clear day at the top, you will have stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest summit. For us, this is one of the most jaw dropping vistas of the course and indeed, all of Vietnam.

The following descent is a sheer joy, especially in the dry. Much of it is runnable when dry, and the views are incredible. You’ll finish your downhill in Ta Phin village at CP4.

From here, the character of the course changes again, with a riverside trail section, then some forest on your way to CP5. 

The trail from CP5 (31 Bridge) takes you through Sau Chua village on great quality, but very challenging trail with some seriously steep uphill. On a clear day, the views here will help take the edge off the challenge, we promise! 

From CP6 you will enjoy a net downhill to CP7. You’ll run through lots of small villages as well as some bamboo forest sections. 

After CP7 comes the infamous Mount Silverstone climb on steep trail. Your reward at the top is another great view and also the knowledge that you have now completed all your climbing for the day. 

VMM ethnic minoriy 3

From here it’s time for the final, runnable downhill and the race to the finish line and the famous welcome at Topas Ecolodge. Here you can relax and enjoy the feeling of triumph together with your fellow mountain runners.

As at all Topas races, we will also perform random checks, plus compulsory checks for the top 3 at the finish. 

It is your responsibility as a conscientious and rule-following mountain runner to ensure the safety of yourself, your fellow runners and the organisers by carrying this kit. 

  • 100 miles Disqualification (DSQ) will result from a lack of:   

Means of carrying kit (e.g. race pack / belt); 1lt Water Carrying Capacity; Survival / Emergency / Space Blanket; Mobile Phone; Waterproof Jacket; Headlamp.  

  • 100 miles 30–minute Time Penalty will result from a lack of:  

Any other mandatory kit items listed below.  

MANDATORY KIT

  1. Means of carrying all kit (e.g. race pack / belt) (Lack of this = DSQ)
  2. 1.0L liquid carrying capacity (Lack of this = DSQ)
  3. Strong headlamp (Lack of this = DSQ)
  4. Spare batteries for headlamp (rechargeable headlamps exempt) (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  5. Second back up headlamp (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  6. Waterproof jacket, with hood, sufficient to keep you dry in case of heavy rain, i.e. not a windproof-only jacket; not cheap, thin poncho (Lack of this = DSQ)
  7. Second top layer (long sleeve): To clarify, for your upper body you will have 3 pieces of clothing: normal running top + another long sleeve top to go over that + your waterproof jacket (Lack of second layer= 30minute Penalty)
  8. Headwear (e.g. hat / cap / buff) (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  9. Survival / Emergency / Space Blanket (Lack of this = DSQ)
  10. Whistle (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  11. Mobile phone (with battery for the full event) (Lack of this = DSQ)
  12. Basic first aid kit (e.g. bandage, gauze, antiseptic…) (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)

RECOMMENDED KIT

  1. Leggings
  2. Waterproof trousers 
  3. Gloves
  4. Sunblock
  5. Sunglasses
  6. GPS watch with GPX track loaded
  7. Poles (very helpful for almost all runners)
  8. Cash for buying food and drinks along the course
  9. Anti-chafing cream
  10. Tape / blister plasters
  11. Battery pack to charge phone if needed (IMPORTANT: a phone with remaining battery power is mandatory; no battery power in your phone = disqualification. If you doubt your phone can last until the end, bring a battery pack)

PACERS

  • For the 100 miles race only, pacers (companion runners) are allowed for the final 70km of your run.  
  • The pacer must have run at least one official TRAIL race of 40km+ with significant elevation to qualify as your pacer.  
  • Pacers may NOT CARRY any equipment, food or water for you. They are there for moral support and encouragement, not physical help. 
  • Pacers must wear the special pacer bib that will match your own bib number.  
  • Pacers must carry the same mandatory kit as defined for VMM 70km runners.  
  • You may have 2 pacers, but only one can accompany you at any time. Change over of pacers is permitted at checkpoints only. 
  • Pacers are responsible for their own transport to checkpoints.  
  • There is NO bag drop provision for pacers. 
  • No race kit for pacers: Pacer bib only. 
  • The pacer(s) must be present at race pack collection and sign the indemnity form.

Please send your pacer(s)’ information to info@vietnammountainmarathon.com at least 45 days prior to the race date. No change of pacers is allowed after this date.

  1. Full name
  2. Gender
  3. Date of birth
  4. Passport / ID number
  5. Nationality
  6. Mobile phone
  7. Email
  8. Link to the qualifying result 

FINISH AND DROP BAGS

You can give us 3 bags:

  • 1 Bag = Finish Bag 
  • 1 Bag = CP Topas Ecolodge Bag (access 4 times)  
  • 1 Bag = CP4 Bag (access 1 time) 

Handing in your bags: Leave 3 bags at the START LINE 

Please use the designated tag for each bag. Please prepare your own bags. Bags must be sealed/closed. 

No valuables should be left in the bags – the organiser cannot be held responsible for any loss.

Picking up your bag after the race:  

  • CP Topas Ecolodge/Finish Bags will be at the finish line before the first finisher 
  • CP4 Bags will be moved back to Sapa Expo area – collect Sunday morning 

*If you DNF, then you can also pick up your CP Topas Ecolodge/Finish Bags in Sapa Expo area from 7:00-12:00 on Sunday, 22 September. 

Note: no individual requests for bag transfers can be facilitated. ALL bags are moved together. 

VMM 100 miles is a 6-point qualifying race for ITRA, an ITRA National League race, a 100M UTMB Index race, and a Western States 2025 Qualifying Race.